15 September 2017

gossner party

Taking the kids to the Gossner party was 101% less intimidating this year than it was last year. I don't care what all those mushy baby-lovers tell you, kids are easier the older they get. I still was done being at the party before they were, but not before we
- said hi to Nate (who was working)
- ate a big old farmer's lunch (I did, anyway)
- bounced in all the bouncy houses (They did, anyway)
- stood in line for about an hour so Norah and Calvin could ride in a little airplane ride
- got faces painted
- got balloon swords made
- got ice cream
- posed for pictures
It was awesome to see them having so much fun. It really is a privilege to spend so much time with them, doing simple things they think are amazing. (Also doing amazing things like bouncy houses.)

13 September 2017

attitude and bias

Parents I know seem to be very good these days at not bragging about their children. That old stereotype, like a few others, seems to be no longer grounded in fact. It makes me wonder then, am I more vain than the other parents, or are my kids just soooo amazing that I can't be expected to contain myself?? Calvin, for instance, is such a smart person. I know, I've said that already! He's a wonderful reader, which I don't take for granted and did not actually put any effort into at all. (Which is also a brag, I know!) He also gets when people are joking and lets them...I mean, that is a kind of intelligence some of us still struggle with. I brag about all three of my geniuses, not just him, because they are kind of superkids.

11 September 2017

oddly accurate mary poppins measurements

Prone to giggling. Doesn't put things away.

Highly stubborn and suspicious.

Rosy cheeks-- obviously.

08 September 2017

oh the places you'll read

Maggie's been into a book called "I like stars," and "Go Dog Go." I like stars happens to be a library book and happens to be missing.
Norah was on a huge Mother Goose kick, but has been branching out lately with old favorites like "Fox in Socks" and "One Naked Baby" (a classic).
Calvin cannot get enough of serieses. Seriesi? Multiple Series. Such as Magic Tree House, ABC Mysteries, Nate the Great, Famous Five, and a new one called the Calendar Mysteries. He reads about one of these chapter books a day, until he runs out.
I've been reading a few Alexander McCall Smith books in a row, and Nate finished the second Lord of the Rings pretty quick and then Gone Girl. 

07 September 2017

and as the summer's ending / the cool air

Calvin's little gang comes to get him to meet the bus about 25 minutes early. Eventually the bus comes and carries them away. At that point I'll admit the air is a little bit cool, but it doesn''t last much longer than that. So we head out immediately.
I like to get in at least 2 miles, so when Norah walks it takes about a million minutes. She either runs ahead or dawdles or climbs rocks or balances on the curb
 Or stands next to a bush of flowers taller than a tree when the surrounding fires make our air pink, and looks pretty as a doll.

01 September 2017

this mig is out of control

Remember when Maggie was not a tornado? When she didn't climb up onto chairs she shouldn't be able to climb onto and pull things off she shouldn't be able to reach? Like chef's knives? When she didn't squawk like an angry pterodactyl when you wouldn't put on the shoes she brought you? When she didn't yell "UH UH!" most of the time, but "UH HUH!" sometimes. When the only place she wanted to be wasn't between you and whatever you are doing? Especially the kitchen cabinets. Or the stairs. When she didn't slap your face and laugh? Ah. Those were the days.

28 August 2017

lake time

We didn't go to Bear Lake this year.

There, I said it. 

But Nate fixed up a canoe that has been sitting around all summer and we've taken it up to First Dam a couple of times and then we decided to go to Hyrum Dam -- also not a lake, technically, but a large body of water for playing in.

We invited Grandparents last Friday afternoon, and we brought some chicken tortellini, the canoe and the paddle board (oh! we bought a paddle board!) and played around for a couple hours. 

Calvin took some time to sit in the sand, lie in the sand, and just be alone. Norah wouldn't get in the canoe for anything--until she just wanted to. As always. Norah. And she is really tan. Maggie didn't actually get her swimsuit on, and was la petite french baby du shirtless for the evening.  

22 August 2017

end of summer

A couple of weeks ago a family moved into the townhouses across the playground with kids aged 6,7,8. As crazy as I find that age gap (!), I find it to be such a blessing for my kids. You really only need one friend, as a kid, to make a certain time special. Calvin got two brothers (the 7 & 8 year olds) and Norah got the little sister, newly 6. 

Calvin and the boys have been outside riding bikes for the last three weeks straight, with slight pauses for sleeping and watching tv. They had a secret hideout (the main pavilion) and when "the kid who pees on everything" stormed it, they got another secret hideout (the other pavilion). They talk about Harry Potter, and racing, and making spears and bow and arrows, they share popcicles and fishie crackers. The little sisters are sadly being relegated to little sister status at the moment, but that is really ok with me so they stay within sight and earshot at the playground.

It is almost exactly what I was hoping would happen when we moved here, suburbia to the max. It might even be why we decided to build right here. The first month we were here I just couldn't believe the lack of kids running wild out there-- where are all the kids? I understand many of them could be going to child care elsewhere but even in the evenings I was disappointed by the childlessness out back. My kids and the kid who pees on stuff were the only ones outside most of the time, and while I try to be open minded about my kids' friends, I was not thrilled that he was their only companion. 

I've read lots of things about kids needing time outside, unstructured, playing together without adult direction, learning playground politics, getting hurt, getting a strong immune system by interacting with germs from time to time, being slightly in danger, building stuff, and sharing popcicles. (Basically.) But of course, we sort of seek out the things we agree with, so those are the kinds of things I read about. I totally understand that every family is different and the kids have different needs, but I am really trying to figure out a way to get more of our neighbors outside (and playing with my kids...ha). As I type this, my kids are watching a movie in the dark on the last day of summer, so just take me with a grain of salt. 

21 August 2017


We viewed the eclipse with varying levels of enjoyment at the Gossner Factory this morning.
Some of us read.
Some of us played on the sewer lid and the gutter.
Some of us refused to put on the glasses or look skyward until it was over.

Remember the eclipse in 2012? This was basically exactly the same, and I'm sorry but I can't figure out why it was different. And by can't figure out I mean I don't know off the top of my head and haven't attempted to find out any more than just saying out loud, "So...how is this different from the one 5 years ago?"

11 August 2017

objects of affection

Calvin has Teddy.
Norah has Puppy and her cold blankie, with the occasional penguin bird.
Magnolia has my 33 year old torn and tattered in shreds baby blanket and says "uh-UH" to her others-- and a newly acquired BABEE raccoon. 

08 August 2017

one two three FOUR

This Norah dumpling gal had a birthday, shout hooray (hooray)! 
She asked for a dollhouse, a backpack, and a stick horse (!) and got all three. 
She asked for a blueberry cake and got that too, except she did not actually try to eat any of it; not a slice, not a bite. I had plenty of it. It was delicious.
She is now four, and will finally be starting preschool in September. She is so excited and writes "N" on everything, recites Mother Goose and colors cute people with big heads and eyes.

07 August 2017

island park again

I just couldn't let that be the only camping post because we spent most of our days out at the basic Island Park sites. 

We went to Big Springs, and finally got a chance to go inside Johnny Sack's cabin, and saw a moose family:

 We also drove to the top of Sawtell Peak. I mean, what in the world. That is one crazy place.
 We saw a lovely rainbow at Upper Mesa Falls, looked at the pelts inside the visitor's center (which I want to live in), and then went down to the Lower Falls. 
 Also, Herriman State Park. We loved it when we stayed there, and it was fun because there was a heritage fair going on, so the kids made leather stamp necklaces and created their own brand, and we all learned to lasso. Nate captured my humble attempts on video, but sadly it isn't in this post.
 Maggie, and everyone, was pooped after that. Like seriously very exhausted. We drove up to West Yellowstone and every child slept; then we just played at a park and drove back.
 And the dirtiest baby on the block got a bath, and finally smiled.

31 July 2017

mccrea bridge

Choosing blindly out of the slim pickins for campsites left when I finally decided we were going to camp in Island Park, I didn't know or really care too much what the site was like at McCrea Bridge. Tot tell you the truth, I didn't even think closely enough to realize it was on the river. It was a good choice though, lucky for us. We were a little too close to the pit potties for our nose's sakes, but other than that it was perfect.

When we arrived we went on a firewood quest. We filled up our trailer hitch carrier with a dry felled log and twigs. It was quite a stash, and lasted us almost the whole trip. I think it was about this point--like 45 minutes in--that we decided we needed a permanent residence in Island Park. You're invited to the cabin when we get it.

Things the kids liked at our camp:
1. setting up camp
2. walking to the dock
3. playing in the dock water
4. chopping wood
5. building fire
6. cooking over the gas stove
7. washing hands in the spigot
8. washing hands in our blue "sink"
9. filling up the sink
10. filling up water bottles
11. washing dishes
12. drying dishes
13. sitting around the fire telling silly/scary stories
14. staying up late
15. eating all the snacks
16. sleeping in a tent
17. using a lantern in the dark
18. eating camp breakfasts (dehydrated eggs!!)
19. exploring
20. flower hunting

26 July 2017

repeat of june 13th's post, with pictures from nate's phone

 On Nate's birthday we went to Morty's on a motorcycle date. I was overly responsible and got a salad instead of a burger (I only regretted it slightly; all the food there is good). The moto was a fun way to go, but it also made me think we really need to make a will...two parents on one motorcycle could be trouble. On our way home we needed to pick up the hiking backpack so I could keep taking the children out on hikes even though Migs had grown out of the Baby Bjorn once and for all. I wore it home but I made Nate go home on the back roads so no one would call child protective services on me for wearing a baby in a hiking backpack on the back of a motorcycle.
 The Wind Cave hike wasn't too bad this year. Next year will be tricky--there will be no worries about a baby getting absolutely filthy up there, but the baby will be sort of too big for the backpack and too small to walk. 
Calvin's turned into a regular kid in the pool, instead of one whose parents are trying to convince him to get his head wet.

25 July 2017

whose blog is this anyway

Oh hey.
Remember me? I'm Nate. I'm the tall one, if you've forgotten. the handsome one, the funny one. I'm also the one the baby smiles for:

 The one who offhandedly catches the biggest fish:
And incidentally, I'm also the one who takes the best pictures but I never ever upload them onto the computer. This morning when Melissa did it, there were like 575! Gee whiz. I hereby commit to uploading my pictures more often.